The ride started early and within no time I was riding through the town of Suez in search of the tunnel that would take me across to the Sinai , and to the road that would lead to Sharm El Sheikh. I felt that I needed to get 440 kilometres done to reach our destination and that became my focus . I found the signs to the tunnel expecting my delays to start here , I was waived through the check point and the next thing Victoria and I found ourselves in the tunnel , I let out a cry of delight , here I was crossing the Suez on a Vespa and in my mind it felt like I had just left Africa and was so close to a different part of the journey with a newness that was palatable .
I debated with myself , had I left Africa or would it be when I made the crossing into Israel , the debate raged in my head while I re created the map in my mind , had I or had I not ? The wind carried us down the peninsula , tunes from the I pod offering opportunities to sing along while the wind ushered us to our resting place. Wow ! The Sinai is truly magnificent with dramatic rock formations and mountains with sand so light that they look snow capped from a distance .
The ride was much easier than the previous day and it was then that my luck with the check points changed and Victoria and I spent the next couple of hours stopping and starting , passport and papers in and out , the journey slowed but we were loving it nonetheless , this desert was something to behold . It might be the lightness of the sand or the majestic mountains that take your mind to a place that is visually and emotionally just beautiful , peaceful and tranquil . The serene Sinai , not how most of the world sees it , unfortunately .
The heat was intense with a few times that I thought that Victoria’s gauge might be showing a slightly elevated reading , ever so slightly above normal and then it settled down once more . We arrived in Sharm to be stopped by the police twice within 50 meters , with the second involving me to strip Victoria down , unpack the entire scooter top to bottom in the blazing heat , while the scrutinising officials let lazy eyes follow my movments . Once done it was time to get to the hotel . I had booked myself into Camel Hotel and dive club , finally unpacked and settled I made my way down to the dive centre and booked my dives for the next three days .
So enthusiastic I was about my dive holiday that I booked three dives per day for three days in a row , what was I thinking ? I was here to relax yet I thought time underwater would clear all and set my mind free once more to journey with me . I would be so tired after three days of diving I would have to extent my stay just to sleep in and rest from the rest.
The hotel beautiful the staff fantastic so I settled into my routine of diving and dining , walking the streets or should I say the semi deserted streets of Sharm and I seemed to find a sense of being earthed in this place that usually is a 24 hour non stop party town .
Tourism is really down in Egypt and from my last visit here where you would queue to get anything and could not wait to get on the boat to leave for your week on the liveaboard , Sharm had clearly lost part of her charm , yet I was just happy to be in a totally different environment doing something totally different feeling like a guy on holiday with days of diving and nights of deep sleep with no planning where , what and how for the next day’s ride.
I thought four days would be fine and I would be ready to ride again , this was not to be and five days later I was still in slop’s , luckily with no socks and board shorts walking about , doing something close to nothing but a little different to the day before . For me Sharm still held all her charm and I really did not feel like leaving , a theme that was now a recurring one . It was then that I decided to extend my diving holiday and go up to Dahab to enjoy more of the same , one of my better decisions I might add.
So with the coolness of early morning I packed up Victoria to take on the ride of 98 kilometres to our next stop Dreamy Dahab.
Until we meet again .